In ten years, almost every American will be driving a car or truck with hybrid technology because of new fuel economy standards.
The benefits of hybrid or hybrid-electric vehicle are beyond increased fuel economy. Hybrid and electric vehicles will help reduce our dependence on foreign oil, greenhouse gas emissions, and more.
How much money will I save?
You can calculate roughly how much you will save per year by using the Department of Energy’s calculator. As you can see, a hybrid car will cost more upfront, but can also pay for itself over time.
Higher upfront costs? Buy used hybrids or lease
If high upfront costs are dissuading you from purchasing a hybrid, consider purchasing a used vehicle. A 2012 Toyota Prius, for example, can depreciate over $5,000 for being one year old.
If you usually lease a vehicle, your fuel cost savings can actually make up for the additional cost of the lease.
What about hybrid pickup trucks?
For small businesses, consider purchasing a new hybrid pickup truck. Hybridcars.com contains a list of electric, alternative fuel, and hybrid pickup trucks.
What are plug-in electric vehicles?
Electric vehicles are propelled by an electric motor powered by rechargeable battery packs. That means you could potentially commute or travel without having to pump oil at a gas station! Moreover, electric engines have instant torque so they can often be much more powerful than similar vehicles while offering a smooth, quiet ride. Some electric vehicles also have a backup oil tank in case you run out of gas. You can read more about EVs on Fueleconomy.gov
What models are available?
View a guide to electric vehicles from the Sierra Club here.
What sort of rebates exist?
The Massachusetts Offers Rebates for Electric Vehicles (MOR-EV) program aims to reduce air pollution by promoting the use of electric vehicles. Interested drivers can apply for incentives of up to $2,500 for the purchase or lease of new electric vehicles including battery electric, plug-in electric, and fuel cell electric vehicles.